Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Israel as a child-killing “terrorist state” Sunday and vowed to use “all means to fight” against the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
“Palestine is an innocent victim… As for Israel, it is a terrorist state, yes, terrorist!” Erdogan said in a speech in the central city of Sivas. “We will not abandon Jerusalem to the mercy of a state that kills children.”
The Turkish leader has issued sharp rhetoric against Israel almost daily in the wake of the US measure on Jerusalem.
On Saturday, Erdogan described Israel as a “state of occupation” that used “terror” against the Palestinians.
“Israel is a state of occupation,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul. “And now they are making use of terror and are bombing young people and children.”
Israeli airstrikes in response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip killed two gunmen from the Hamas terror group before dawn and wounded 14, among them civilians.
Several rockets were fired at Israel from Hamas-run Gaza on Thursday and Friday, one of them landing in Sderot and another being intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. Hamas, which seeks to destroy Israel, has called for a new intifada to liberate Jerusalem, and urged Palestinians to confront soldiers and settlers.
In an address last Wednesday from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.
The move was hailed by Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.